When I got pregnant with my first and only child in early 2000 I somehow lost all sense of style. I completely strayed from my personal style journey. I cheated on style and fashion with preggy outfits, baby clothes, baby food, baby monitors, breast pumps and pampers.
Back then style and pregnancy didn’t go together. I was very young (early 20’s) and there was nothing fashionable or stylish available. Or maybe I just had no idea how to combine pregnancy on a budget, with style. Maternity clothes were horrendous. A small choice of unfashionable, yet expensive items. Visual merchandisers had little interest in the small maternity sections in stores, so the displays were boring and unimaginative. I had to make what I had work, and often just went for oversized tent clothes, borrowed items or anything really that would fit as my bump grew.
The usually stylish and fashionably creative Nadia disappeared somewhere..
As my body changed in ways I did not expect or understand I wanted to hide it even more. Being stylish and fashionable was always me. Always. But suddenly I had no direction. There was nobody to give me tips and advice on maternity style. Just tents and horrible expensive dresses in colours that supposedly flattered your femininity. I think my appearance is why my morning sickness lasted longer than 3 months… my style sense made me nauseas.
My style sense made me nauseas
All I wanted to do in those 9 months was hide till the journey was over. I am not the only girl that felt this way while pregnant. I have had requests over the last few years to create maternity wardrobes for my clients. So I created the Baby Bump stylist service. Now that I have created several Baby Bump wardrobes I have learned some great tips and tricks I want to share with you.
I wish I had known these things when I was pregnant. It would have changed my pregnancy experience a lot for me. I would have had a more joyful time. Because let’s face it, when you are pregnant you don’t stop wanting to look good, be stylish, and feel confident enough to go out there and make the best of your changing body.
Maternity Style Hacks
Here are some maternity hacks that will most certainly help you feel confident and stylish during your pregnancy, without breaking the bank.
SHOP FROM YOUR OWN CLOSET:
It is surprising how many of the items from your current wardrobe can actually be worn when you are pregnant. Make sure you don’t wear any of your beloved T- shirts. They will stretch and you will never be able to wear them again. But Boyfriend blazers, long vests, kimonos… these are all things that you can shop from your current wardrobe, and that you will be able to wear again afterwards. Also here is a hack that will help you wear your jeans for a little while longer… it is called the belly band. Your normal Maxi dresses could still work, peasant tops and tunics. Wear your denim shirts as jackets for some creative layering. And my favourite hack … pleated skirts. Pleated skirts have a lot of volume to play with. Pull the skirt up till over your belly to around the smallest part of your “new” waist.
SHOP PLEATED SKIRTS
H&M – Pleated Maxi Skirt – Pink • H&M
H&M – Pleated Wrap-front Skirt – Red • H&M
H&M – Pleated Satin Skirt – Pink • H&M
H&M – Pleated Satin Skirt – Green • H&M
Weekend Max Mara Pleated Midi Skirt • Max Mara
MANGO – Pleated midi skirt blue – L – Women • MANGO
NOVIIA Ombre pleated skirt • Ted Baker
Arielle Asymmetrical Pleated Skirt • A.L.C.
Asymmetric Pleated Skirt • Pleats Please Issey Miyake
Pleats Please By Issey Miyake Pleated Skirt • Pleats Please Issey Miyake
SHOP BELLY BANDS
Belly Bandit(R) Belly Boost(TM) 2-Pack Bundle • $49.89
Loving Moments By Leading Lady Pregnancy Support Band • $12.99
Maternity Playtex 2-pack Seamless Belly Band PLMTB • Bali • $24
Maternity Pip & Vine by Rosie Pope Seamless Belly Support Band PV11138 • $27
Playtex Maternity Belly Band – 2 Pack • Playtex • $28
Everyday Maternity Built-In Support Belly Band • BLANQI • $38
Nurture By Lamaze Maternity Seamless Everyday Belly Band • $10.86
Guys often have some nice snazzy shirts that you can use to make an interesting maternity outfit. Print button up shirts or just plain white ones. Either wear the shirt open, like as a layer piece, or close it and wear it over leggings. You can even add a belt over the bump at the top to accentuate your “new” waist.
SHOP SLOWLY, NOT ALL AT ONCE:
You might be tempted to get all the things you need in one go. This is a mistake. Your body grows and you have no idea where it is going, so don’t shop all your maternity items at once. Shop slowly as your bump gets bigger.
NO OVERSIZED TENTS PLEASE:
Don’t buy oversized clothes in the XXXL department just to cover the bump in whatever way you can. This is just not stylish and money wasted.
Look for stretchy maternity clothes that your bump can grow into.
SHOP STRETCHY MATERNITY CLOTHES
Mamalicious maternity stripe wrap jumpsuit • Mama Licious • $79
Mamalicious cross front dress • Mama Licious • $41
Mamalicious Maternity organic cotton maxi dress in blue and white stripe • Mama Licious • $45
Mamalicious maternity organic tube maxi skirt • Mama Licious • $29
The Perfect Vee • Hatch • $88
The Vivienne Dress • Hatch • $298
Reversible Maternity Tank Dress • Angel Maternity • $79.95
The Bumper Essential 4-Piece Maternity Starter Kit • Angel Maternity • $119
Print Short Sleeve Body-Con Maternity Dress • Angel Maternity • $69.95
Mamalicious maternity denim chambray shorts • Mama Licious • $51
Mamalicious nursing organic cotton bodycon mini dress in black • Mama Licious • $29
Mamalicious stretch pencil skirt • Mama Licious • $25
Mamalicious Maternity organic cotton mini dress in navy stripe • Mama Licious • $29
If you have social events that require dressing up, considering renting a dress.
USA Rent the runway
USA La Belle Bump
Body suits are great for this time. They are figure hugging and flattering for your body. They don’t ride up like T – shirts, exposing your belly. Find a comfortable stretchy body suit.
TIE YOUR SHIRTS:
Button up shirts can be used to create a cute outfit by tying it at the top of your baby bump, over a tank dress. Knotting a T- shirt is also a creative way to flatter your bump and make your outfit cute and interesting.
If you are a high heel kind of girl then don’t let the old fashion myth stop you from wearing your heels. By now you know how to walk in them without falling over. Because your ankles swell, you don’t want to go for sandals with ankle straps. Go for a more supportive shoe, like a wedge heel. Or if stilettos is your thing, try a lower heel with ankle support and a zip at the back, so you can slip the heels on easily. Pumps might be too tight with the swelling.
Invest in comfortable, stretchy maternity underwear. Adjustable bra’s are a great friend at this time. Instead of purchasing new items all the time, you can invest in bra’s that will fit in multiple stages of your pregnancy, and also during your breastfeeding stage. Try these ones from Molly- T.
Another underwear trick is to wear bra extenders, so you can wear the bra’s you already have for longer.
investing in more than one pair of maternity leggings is worth it. They will be comfortable during your pregnancy and also after. They offer great belly support too.
SHOP MATERNITY LEGGINGS
Times 2 Women’s Leggings CHARCOAL – Charcoal Underbelly Maternity Leggings – Women & Plus
Preggo Leggings Moto Maternity Leggings • Preggo Leggings
Preggo Leggings Rockstar Mamacita Moto Faux Maternity Leggings • Preggo Leggings
Mama Look at Me Now Seamless Maternity Leggings • Spanx
Faux Leather Maternity Leggings • Ingrid & Isabel
SPANX Mama Look at Me Now Leggings • Spanx
Blair High Performance Full Panel Maternity Leggings • Kimi and Kai
Pin maternity looks that inspire you. Search photos of celebrities that you admire when they were pregnant.
Yeah, not everybody thinks that belly button pushing out is that cute. Also the belly button can become quite sensitive when material rubs over it. Use nipple covers over the belly button.
SHOP NIPPLE COVERS
Bristols 6 Heart Nippies • Bristols 6
Magic satin rosette 10-pack water resistant nude secret nipple covers in fair • Magic
Magic Nippless silicone nipple covers • Magic
Magic body hide your nipples covers • Magic
Nudwear Daisies Waterproof Nipple Covers
Create a capsule wardrobe for yourself. Start by taking out all the items in your closet that you won’t wear during this time so that you can see what you have. Then find ways to mix and match the items you have and can wear with each other to make complete outfits. Purchase only a few add-ons to complete your capsule wardrobe.
You might think how is this a style hack? But it most definitely is. Walking around scratching yourself with your hair brush is not very stylish. When I was pregnant I discovered BODY SHOP peppermint foot spray. I sprayed this all over the places where I itched. Life saver!
So there you have it ! I am sure these hacks will help you take on this precious time with grace and style.
HERE IS A LITTLE BONUS :
Download my Mini Maternity Capsule Outfit Formula Guide for free
Get inspired by the outfit formulas. Outfit ideas with looks to inspire you and give you a good idea of how useful a maternity capsule wardrobe is.
Featured image courtesy of Luhet Geldenhuys.